The story of REACH

In October 2009, whilst attending one of the study schools in Reggio Emilia, representatives of EtonHouse were approached to meet with Amelia Gambetti, educator and International Network Coordinator, Consultant to Reggio Children to explore the possibility of convening an International Conference in Singapore as a collaboration with Reggio Children.

The proposed conference had tight timelines associated with it as Reggio Children had a full year of conference commitments. The one requirement was that the conference had to be convened the first week of March 2010.

Back at home, there was a great deal of excitement, anticipation and concern as to how to proceed with the enormous task of organising a conference in less than 6 months. The outcome saw a very positive collaboration between EtonHouse and AECES (Association for Early Childhood Educators Singapore) to host the first Reggio Children conference in Asia. Delegates numbered 470 and attended from 11 Asia Pacific countries.

Amelia Gambetti and Emanuela Vercalli along with representatives of the International Network, Jan Millikan and Helene Oberman, (REAIE: Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange); Margie Cooper and Beth Macdonald, (NAREA: North America Reggio Emilia Alliance); Harold Gothson (Reggio Emilia Institutet, Sweden) and Moonja Oh (KAREA: The Korean Association for the Reggio Emilia Approach), provided for delegates an amazing three days of deep thinking and reflection.

story img01As part of this conference in 2010, Reggio Children co-ordinated a meeting of representatives from preschools/International schools in Singapore and other Asian countries, as well as International Network members, to reflect together on what an International Network might look like within the Asia region.

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Since that time, REACH has not only participated in other International Network conferences sharing the work being undertaken in Singapore e.g. AREA (African Reggio Emilia Alliance 2011 and 2012); and REAIE (Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange 2013), but has also convened, in 2012, a second conference with speakers Ivana Soncini and Paola Cagliari, along with translator, Jane McCall, all directly from Reggio Emilia. These opportunities both strengthen our connections with others and support our own professional learning.

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Listening to children - What does REACH mean?

To demonstrate our respect and advocacy for children's rights, we invited a group of children to work with us, in an advisory capacity, to reflect on the meaning of 'reach'. The children indicated it meant to 'reach out' to make a connection...

What does 'connection' mean?

  • It means coming together.

We invited children to 'draw' their ideas about coming together, so that we could understand different interpretations of 'coming together'. However, they indicated you did not need words, to connect...

  • Hands connect:
  • You connect by moving your eyes and connecting with another people's eyes. We look at their eyes, connect and talk.

We asked the children, how to share this thinking with others, this idea of 'showing' connections. They shared with us, the idea of a 'logo'.

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What is a logo?

  • A picture - to say something
  • It means you can say something without words
  • You can say what it means, without writing

In searching for a logo to represent REACH's identity, of reaching out and making connections we then invited Carnegie Koh Ding Feng, to re-visit his drawing of his giraffe, whose long neck symbolises the s-t-r-e-t-c-h of connecting with others. We therefore introduce to you Chang Jing Lu. REACH LOGO 2013 Sep-26


Learn more about The story of REACH.

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